In the early part of 2021 Google launched the “Experience” tab for all webmasters in Google Search Console. Since the summer of 2020, Google has stated that page experience, speed and core web vitals would “eventually” be a search ranking factor. In the summer of 2021, the Google Search Algorithm updated with a number of new ranking factors including page experience and usability.
Update to Search Console 👉 the Speed report is now the Core Web Vitals report! Read more about it at https://t.co/fz0FD2uCH3 or open the report and roll your sleeves up! 💪 https://t.co/uKvId7dI7o pic.twitter.com/gldPivTuVG
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) May 27, 2020
When Did Page Experience and Core Web Vitals Change Search Rankings?
On June 2nd, 2021 Google announced an algorithm update that would take effect immediately. Some of the planned improvements for the June 2021 update were not quite ready meaning a July 2021 update would follow with the completed update. Some webmasters saw a change in traffic in early June then saw another chance in July or August. For most websites, the change in June 2021 was the most apparent. By Monday, June 7th, 2021 the effects started to show in Google Search Console.
Later today, we are releasing a broad core update, as we do several times per year. It is called the June 2021 Core Update. Our guidance about such updates is here:https://t.co/e5ZQUA3RC6
This will be followed by the July 2021 Core update. Here’s more information about that…
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) June 2, 2021
How Do I Know If My Website is Affected?
The most trustworthy way to find out if your website traffic and search rankings were affected by the June and July 2021 algorithm updates is to check Google Search Console. Below is a chart showing a website that saw an increase in traffic due to the algorithm update:
Below is a chart of a website that initially saw an increase in search traffic and rankings and then saw a subsequent drop in the early part of August 2021:
Below is a chart of a website that saw a decline in search traffic and rankings due to the June 2021 algorithm update:
How Can I Check If My Website Has Good URLs?
Within Google Search Console, there is a tab for “Experience” that looks like this:
Page Experience allows users to see how many URLs have a good page experience. In the chart above in which there is a search traffic decline the Page Experience report states “Your site has no URLs with a good page experience”. Core Web Vitals for that particular property shows 319 failing URLs. By digging deeper and clicking on “Core Web Vitals” there is a chart for both mobile and desktop URLs.
Within that report there are two issues which include:
- LCP issue: longer than 4s (mobile)
- FID issue: longer than 300ms (mobile)
Google Search Console states:
Issue type is the status of the various measures:
- LCP (largest contentful paint): How long it takes the page to render the largest visible element
- FID (first input delay): How long it takes the page to start responding to user actions
- CLS (cumulative layout shift): How much the page UI shifts during page loading.
Speed issues are assigned separately for desktop and mobile users.
In laymen’s terms, if your website loads slow and is bogged down, it is going to rank poorly in Google Search as of June 2021.
When you log in to Google Search Console and click Page Experience, this is what you want to see:
Notice that as of June 2021 the search impressions started to increase at a significant rate due to the fact that this particular web property has 100% Good URLs. Allow GO Media to help you achieve the highest possible search rankings and grow your business. Contact us today.
Has SEO Changed to More Coding and Less Content and Links?
We know you want to rank #1 on Google search and there is a high likelihood you paid for SEO in the past. Now your website isn’t ranking as high and you aren’t getting as many new customers, patients or leads. Has SEO changed to more coding, meta tags, title descriptions and HTML? Is content and link building less relevant after the June 2021 Algorithm Update?
Understand that the Google Search algorithm was built based on a college thesis or dissertation. Links are the citations of a thesis. The content is created by using citations. There will never be a time in which content and links are not the foundation of ranking in Google Search and SEO. That said, the algorithm has evolved over the last decade to provide the most efficient search results; especially on mobile.
If your website has amazing content and great links yet it takes 8 seconds to load on mobile, it is not going to outrank a competitor that has similar content and links with a more efficient website. The task of SEO has always involved a website but the build out and backend of the website is more important than ever in 2021 and beyond.
Page experience and overall appearance of a website are becoming more and more of a ranking factor. With great content, a strong link portfolio and a beautiful and efficient website you can outrank your competitors. If you are lacking in one area, you might have seen your search rankings drop since early June 2021.